I know this is kind of a trend at the moment, but its an amazing trend! Plain and simple – plastic is terrible. It’s f*ckin up our oceans, and we can’t live without our oceans. Healthy oceans are what we need. It’s also just continuously filling up land fills all around the world. Mostly 3rd world countries because much of our trash is actually shipped over there. What so many people don’t know is where does our plastic go? That’s what they want! Out of sight out of mine, right? Although recycling is helpful - it is not the solution. Thats becasuse the worst part about plastic is that it never truly goes away. Over time it just breaks into micro plastics, and continues forever. These micro plastics are the most dangerous because they get into everything, and everyone! Micro plastics can be found in almost all marine life, and soon enough they will be found inside of us too (AH). I have been working really hard this last year to minimize my plastic use – and no I’m not perfect! But I think I have narrowed down 5 easy ways to start becoming more conscious about your plastic use (more specifically single use plastic).
1. THOSE DAMN STRAWS! I know you’ve seen it. I know companies, and cities are starting to act on it. Cause we all saw that poor turtle getting that straw pulled out of its nostril. We care about turtles. But truly, cutting out straws is great. The problem with straws is that because of their shape and size they actually fall through the conveyer belts in recycling/garbage facilities and get swept into the drains… Which lead to the ocean where sweet marine life mistakes them for little worms and such. There are a few ways to make this easy. My personal favorite is just get used to drinking without a straw… First world problems. Yes, your teeth get cold sometimes but I assure you they will get used to it and you will live through it. I also really love reusable metal straws and have them at home or carry on in my purse! Bought a pack of 6 on amazon. The cardboard straws are bullshit and get soggy. I don’t mess with those.
2. GROCERY STORE HACKS! I have two ways to make grocery shopping more eco friendly. Bring a reusable bag… And I know the struggle… When you constantly forget your reusable bag at home. Just give it a little more thought or go with my strategy and make sure to keep several in your car at all times. Also, as soon as you unpack your groceries put the reusable bag right next to the door! Another thing that I do is ditch those little plastic veggie and fruit bags. I just put them right in the cart! You can think this is gross, but you should be washing your produce before you eat it anyways!! So who cares if it sits in a cart. Those silly plastic grocery bags that are collecting underneath your kitchen sink serve zero purpose! So, stop collecting them.
3. NO MO SANDWICH BAGS! Sandwich bags are pointless, and so are gallon bags. Because there is such thing as Tupperware and it comes in literally every shape and size! I know what you’re thinking ‘BuT TuPpErWaRe Is PlAsTiC ToO’ – well there is such thing as glassware, AND it is life times better to use reusable plastic than one use plastic. I pack lunches all the time, and can do it all without a single sandwich bag. They even make reusable sandwich bags now – so you have zero excuses. And long term you will save money using reusable plastic for obvious reasons.
4. WHY DO PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES EXIST? If you’re still buying plastic water bottles I don’t understand you. There is no reason we should be buying plastic water bottles. Go get yourself a cool Camelbak, or Hydro Flask or carry around a mason jar I DON’T CARE! Stop buying them. Filtered water is super accessible (in most places) and most tap water (especially in the PNW) is totally okay to drink. It would even be better for you to buy one of those huge jugs of water and use that to refill your reusable water bottle than to buy single use plastic water bottles. You can even buy a Britta or a water filter for your sink at home. There. Are. So. Many. Options.
5. MINIMIZE ORDERING DELIVERY/TO GO! This one hits home for me… I love Uber eats. And I will not lie. But so often my food shows up in Styrofoam and every time that happens my heart breaks a little bit. They pack so much plastic into your to go orders… Even if you can choose to cook a few extra meals a week that will help cut back on your plastic use significantly. Or try eating at the places you normally order from! Maybe you’ll discover that they have a ‘to die for’ ambiance that you’ve been needing in your life this whole time.
To sum this up – everything is okay in moderation! No one expects perfection, and no one is judging here. Even beginning to think about any of these changes is a step in the right direction. It’s all about baby steps. I think people get caught up in the big picture, when really small life changes such as these are how we are going to make a difference that is sustainable and realistic. Going forward I urge you to ask for the new lid at Starbucks, and order a neat metal water bottle online. The earth thanks you, and I can promise you that you’ll feel great about setting an example for others!